News: Cedar Fair preparing for another pandemic-focused season in 2021

Thursday, March 18, 2021 9:26 PM

So no late-night mini marathons on Top Thrill Dragster this season? I pray that when this pandemic is just a memory that this does not become the new normal (I hate that phrase).

Friday, March 19, 2021 8:53 AM

I’m glad that Early Entry is back, but WHY only certain gates & parking areas? Also if the park is closing at 10:00 peak of summer, WHY close ride lines before park closing and not right at close or a little after like usual? WHY only steel vengeance early on the weekends?

I totally understand that we are in unprecedented times, but Jason & Tony both said at winter chill out that operations-wise we should expect it to be like 2019. Hopefully Park Operations will read this and change this ridiculous policy back to normal.

Jake Padden
13-Tiques/Wave Swinger
12-Camp Snoopy; Tiques/Wave Swinger
11-CP & LE Railroad Platform; Cedar Creek Mine Ride; Tiques/Wave Swinger

Friday, March 19, 2021 11:54 AM
Kevinj's avatar

While I always enjoyed the fact that line rides never closed until the park did, I often wondered, "when do these people sleep"? Apparently they didn't, and that's not good for anyone; the ride workers, maintenance, and then the guest experience the next day.

I suppose when I was more into a get-in-all-the-rides-I-can-and-close-the-park! mode of visiting Cedar Point this would be an annoying change, but that ship sailed awhile ago.

Based on the logic that having the rides close in the ballpark of when the park closes is actually mutually beneficial for everyone, including the guests, the only change this will make is asking a guest to perhaps be more selective of choosing a last ride of the day and when it will happen.

I wouldn't mind this change sticking around; perhaps having some select nights during a season where it's a special thing. Catchy new thing for marketing to play with.

Last edited by Kevinj, Friday, March 19, 2021 2:22 PM

Promoter of fog.

Friday, March 19, 2021 12:31 PM

For those saying that hopefully we can get back to normal next year or that we are in unprecedented times, I hate to break it to ya but this season is likely going to be the new normal whether you like it or not. As it stands, we are likely well on the path to having all health orders removed by summer or earlier, and so I don’t foresee that some of these policies are being put in place based on the pandemic, the communication is different compared to last year. I think the park is anticipating being able to operate without restrictions (Dewine himself has said July 4 we’d be back to normal) and so they wouldn’t be making these announcements if it was temporary without indicating as much.

Friday, March 19, 2021 1:16 PM

Closing lines 60-120 minutes early is not mutually beneficial to everyone. Employees getting more rest can certainly be defended (though there are no more 11 or 12 closings and the park closed at 8pm all last season with this in place), but charging the same $$ for fast lane and park entry but reducing the amount of time rides are open is not "mutually beneficial".

Last edited by James Parker jr, Friday, March 19, 2021 1:22 PM

CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (28 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (182 launches to date, 4 rollbacks) 3. Raptor 4. Millennium Force 5. Maverick 6. GateKeeper 7. Valravn 8. Rougarou 9. Magnum XL 200 10. Gemini

Friday, March 19, 2021 2:34 PM
djDaemon's avatar

I would guess that in most cases they'll close the 2 or 3 most popular rides, which leaves... *checks notes*... more than 95% of their attractions open until close, including more than 80% of their coasters. Not a big deal.

And since this is mostly going to affect SV, it'll possibly be close to a wash considering that, if I'm not mistaken, SV would often not open with the park because they didn't have time to complete maintenance overnight.

It's been a while since I've closed the park, but my recollection was that aside from the most popular 2 or 3 coasters, most everything else was nearly a walk on, so this isn't a major change in the value proposition.


Friday, March 19, 2021 4:23 PM

Keep in mind Tony's blog post is effectively a PR release. Not every word or phrase should be taken 100% literally. They aren't going to tell us the entire reason why these things are happening, and again, things are and will continue to be so fluid for a while.

Underpromise and overdeliver. If by midseason they decide it is beneficial to extend hours, keep coasters open until six minutes after the official closing time, and get back to 2019 style ops, I don't think anyone will be upset. But if things still need to be in modified, conservative operations, they've prepped their guests for it.

Friday, March 19, 2021 7:24 PM
We-o-we-oooo's avatar

If the wording is to be taken literally than 'some attractions' would mean 'all attractions', as if the goal is to have lines exhausted 'within park operating hours', it would have to include all of them by default. I would hope that the only impact is on the big three or four, although even that grinds my gears beyond measure. Being able to do the large rides when the wait was far lessened than during the day (and commensurately not needing to take a massive bite out the day to do so) was a truly fantastic perk, something that set CP apart from other operations.

If what they say is accurate and there is correlative data linking late closures to late openings, then I suppose this addresses the years long problem of 2/3 of the early entry offerings being down during early entry, although simple cost saving is almost certainly the more likely motivator.

So long as there is an unchanging metric to the early closures (as opposed to making people rely on the unreliable app to determine when to try and make the cutoff time for a last ride of the day) and provided it does only end up being 'some' attractions, I will begrudgingly accept the loss of the part of the day I always loved the most. If it is every ride, then having to be in line 30, 60 or 90+ minutes before the end of the day combined with the cancellation of midnight closings means night riding is effectively eliminated, save for doing a single one each visit and even then needing to get the timing right.

Any way around it, this is-for me at least-a serious devaluation.

Girl: "l want to ride that yellow one again... Twisted Wicker"
Me: "It's a roller coaster, not a broken clothes hamper."

Saturday, March 20, 2021 7:06 AM

Again. We're still in a pandemic. Enjoy what they are able to do. If these things are still going on in 2022/2023, then overanalyze it and be upset. But if these measures are needed to have the place open and functional right now without all of the overseas staff and to help control labor costs, I get it.

Also, the ability use only one gate is likely because health screenings will still be a thing this year. They have to have a way to efficiently manage folks through that process.

Saturday, March 20, 2021 11:47 AM

Do you guys think they’ll bring back physical park maps this year? I’ve always enjoyed collecting maps from the parks every year, and now that we know surfaces don’t easily spread Covid, it seems like it would be safe to bring those back.

Saturday, March 20, 2021 4:30 PM

Maybe not- not having to print those things is a big money saver. Especially when an app or a QR code could be used by just about everyone.
I feel the same for restaurant menus and stuff like that. Having mobile access enables a place to make changes in prices, hours, specials, and availability without the expense or man hours of printing and reprinting.
I think there will be a lot of changes like that. Society will rethink how we do things going forward. A lot of solutions will likely present themselves as a way we should’ve been doing things all along.

Saturday, March 20, 2021 5:46 PM

I think I saw the large souvenir maps last season for sale in gift shops. I seem to remember looking at one to see if Snake River Expedition was on it. I wonder if that will be the only way to get one, moving forward.

CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (28 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (182 launches to date, 4 rollbacks) 3. Raptor 4. Millennium Force 5. Maverick 6. GateKeeper 7. Valravn 8. Rougarou 9. Magnum XL 200 10. Gemini

Saturday, March 20, 2021 11:07 PM
Chuck Wagon's avatar

I can confirm that they sold the souvenir maps last year, as I purchased one.

I'm not sure if the mobile app usage is high enough yet that they would completely abandon using any paper materials. Before 2020, what sort of paper map was Cedar Point using? I can't say I ever grabbed one in recent years.

At Kings Island, they have been using what I assume to be a cheaper option which is a single page, non-folded map with info on the back. There is no good way to fold it, which means if you want a pristine copy, you have to grab one on the way out.

-- Chuck Wagon --
aka Pagoda Gift Shop

Sunday, March 21, 2021 12:59 PM

As far as closing lines before closing time, that was the standard operating procedure during the mid 1970's. The only time it was deviated was on the 4th of July as I recall, don't know about Labor Day as my contracts ended prior that weekend. Considering that back in those days the public school districts all started back the day after, I would doubt that they would have been open later. Plus by that time about a third of their work force would have gone back to college by then.

Sunday, March 21, 2021 10:33 PM
Paisley's avatar

So if only resort guests can come in not through the front gate again this year that is going to make doing the park and the water park in the same day complicated.

Sunday, March 21, 2021 10:37 PM

There used to be one or two “bonus weekends” after Labor Day, but I’m not sure when that started.
When I worked in 74 a group of us, if we weren’t closing, would try to snag the last ride of the day on Blue Streak. Back then the line would stretch down the midway, sometimes to the fountain. Procedure was to position a CP police officer as the last person in line until it reached the station, thus blocking anyone else from getting in. It was usually the same guy every night and we would watch until he approached the line and we’d run and cut him off, making sure we were in line just ahead of him. (He got to know us and he was good natured about it)
Anyway, they got to be pretty good at cutting the line off at the appropriate time. Every once in a while there would be a slight miscalculation and they’d have to let a few more in, usually passers by or those hanging out on the off chance they could get on.
We loved being on the last train. A friend who was an op would often let us go around a few extra times.
That end of day procedure must’ve changed by the time Corkscrew was built. As the most sensational ride to ever come along, the line was hours long. I remember it running until midnight or later on some evenings, and the line didn’t cut off until closing time.

Monday, March 22, 2021 4:36 PM
Chuck Wagon's avatar

So, an update was made to the 2021 Early Entry blog post this afternoon. It indicates that Platinum pass holders will only be allowed to enter the Magnum (or Windseeker) gates if they also have an early entry pass from a hotel. So, no more driving around and parking in the Cedar Point Shores parking lot to get faster access to the back of the park.

I'm not all that surprised, although this ends a more than 2 decade tradition for me. It makes sense that they would prioritize the hotel guests over everyone else, particularly those staying in the more expensive rooms on the peninsula.

Who gets to be first in line for Dragster, Maverick, and Steel Vengeance each day? Answer: resort guests.

-- Chuck Wagon --
aka Pagoda Gift Shop

Monday, March 22, 2021 5:05 PM
Paisley's avatar

But can we go in the resort gate after the park opens with a platinum pass?

Monday, March 22, 2021 6:32 PM

That actually makes sense for early entry, if only because they need to figure out a way to keep the early entry people from monopolizing all the waterpark parking. That was a problem in 2019.

That said, I still prefer to park back there if I'm permitted to do so. In fact, I prefer to park in that lot behind Gemini, even though it's a longer walk to the gate than most of the spaces in the Shores lot. But then I almost never get there early enough for early entry!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _____

Monday, March 22, 2021 7:47 PM
DSShives's avatar

Chuck Wagon said:

Who gets to be first in line for Dragster, Maverick, and Steel Vengeance each day? Answer: resort guests.

Looks like its time for everyone to start that Couch to 5K program.

Steve Shives
First Cedar Point Visit - 1972
Dockholder-Cedar Point Marina


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